(1938-10-15) International Co-Operation
Details for International Co-Operation
Summary: The morning after the night before.
Date: October 15th, 1938
Location: Fabia's Rooms, The Three Broomsticks, Hogsmeade
Related: The night before.
Characters
FabiaFrid

When Frid shimmers into his employer's bedroom at eight in the morning precisely, with her tea and her aspirin, he finds the marvelous dressing-gown of the late B. Travers, Esquire acting as the outer layer of a cocoon.

The cocoon twitches in response to his quiet footfalls, revealing sections of silver lamé she certainly wasn't wearing *last* time he saw her.

Frid casts a long look over the cocoon of flannel and boiled wool and lamé, before pursing his lips and setting the tray down, aspirin thoughtfully closest to her. He moves to the window to pull open the curtains there, allowing a stream of light into the room, which seems to have mysteriously untidied itself overnight. Picking his way back around various discarded objects, and, oh look, the lid of a hatbox this time hastily converted into an ashtray, (the hatbox, incidentally, then tipped into the elephant leg stand, which appears to be finding a particularly useful purpose after all), he kneels by the fire, stoking up last night's embers to a warm blaze.

Whilst Frid is making his rounds an arm unfurls from the depths of the cocoon, retrieves the aspirin, and then, on its second trip, the cup into which an inch or so of tea has been poured — little enough that shaky morning hands won't spill it. Soon it's returned to the tray, empty.

Finally, in response perhaps to the growing warmth in the room, the cocoon emits a sigh and extends two stockinged feet from one end and a mass of thick tousled henna-red hair from the other. "Good morning, sweetie. What's it like out there today?"

"In good news, the rain has stopped," Frid responds as he builds the fire higher, with a quick glance to the window. "In bad news, this is Scotland, so I can't imagine it will stop for long." He straightens, moving to the bedside to pour out more tea from the teapot now the first of it has been drunk. "Did madam have an enjoyable evening?" he asks as he sets the teapot down again and moves to the drawers to begin laying out appropriate clothing for the day. Or at least what he feels is appropriate, an issue on which they rarely see eye to eye, and Frid usually loses.

Fabia looks oldest in morning light, particularly after she's passed out with her face on for that distinctive panda-bear look — and then grows younger as the day wears on and the sparkle comes back into her eyes. But she doesn't worry what she looks like in front of Frid in the mornings, what would be the sense in that? She holds her teacup so close to her face only that the steam might defrost her nose, which spent the night less perfectly cocooned than every other inch of her. "Most enjoyable, Frid, most enjoyable. The loveliest girl dropped in again," she murmurs, still slightly sleepy. "She said I reminded her of Paris, can you imagine."

"A French girl?" Frid queries, somehow only finding one stocking of a pair and eyeing the room balefully for its mate before searching the rest of the drawers where Fabia has 'helped'.

"No, English, I think, to begin with… but her business," Fabia giggles into her teacup, "seems to have taken her to Paris for rather a while… Oh, I put on just one new stocking before I went down last night, that's the other half of the pair I opened. The one that had too bad a run in it," she adds helpfully, "is in the elephant."

Frid nods as the mystery of the solitary stocking becomes quite clear, finding another pair and splitting them to provide a friend. "International Cooperation, or is she a dancer like you?" he queries absently, glancing back at her over his shoulder. "Will we be going out today, madam?" he adds, hand hovering by the selection of scarves.

"International co-operation," giggles Fabia, who can be about twelve in the morning, as well as about, oh, sixty or so. "I've never heard it called *that* before, although—"

Frid's lips twitch a little at the corners, moving over towards the window to stare steadfastly out of it and allow her what he likes to think of as a modicum of privacy in which to rise and extract herself from the silver lamé gown, preparatory to getting into the bath he drew for her between the lines several poses ago. "Are you implying that she is from a somewhat older profession, madam? I had no idea this was that sort of establishment."

"Oh, sweetie, she's far too expensive to go about picking up clients," is Fabia's reproving answer, as she slithers forth from her cocoon and sheds garment after garment on the way into the bathroom. She never shuts the door, she likes having someone to talk to while she's splashing about soapily. "Certainly not in a modest little country pub. I'd say she's a customer like any other, but that every man who comes in is sure to discover a terrible thirst in her presence." She passes, quite nude, by the desk of Bertie's which she has converted into a dressing-table, and picks up a handful of hairpins, transferring them briefly to her mouth whilst she twists her hair up into an impromptu chignon.

Frid maintains his window watch, sentry-like, as she pads about behind him in fewer and fewer clothes. "In which case, she can only be good for business," he supplies with an approving nod. "I look forward to meeting her, if you and she get on so well together."

Something incomprehensible murmured round a mouthful of hairpins. Then, once they've been transferred to her hair: "She's a delightful little creature. She invited me to go dancing the next time I'm in London; what fun!" By the sound of it she's just behind him, peeking out the window from behind his protective bulk. Quick, peremptory fingers brush a speck of lint from his shoulder; and then her footsteps retreat into the bathroom where they belong.

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